AI, swords, headsets and Indian wedding for Mark Zuckerberg’s Asia tour

Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg was in Japan on Monday on a mini-Asia tour involving sword-making, mixed-reality headsets in Seoul and reportedly also lavish pre-wedding celebrations for an Indian multi-billionaire’s son. Zuckerberg posted footage on Sunday on social media of a “special afternoon learning about making katanas” with a sword master, including of him hammering molten metal and swinging a blade.

The 39-year-old had been skiing in Japan with his family and was due to meet with Facebook developers in Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported.

Zuckerberg was then expected to travel to South Korea where he is lining up meetings with President Yoon Suk Yeol and leaders of tech titans Samsung and LG, according to South Korean media.

“Mark is planning a brief visit to the country and is scheduling some key meetings,” Meta said in a statement to AFP without sharing further details.

South Korea is home to some of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, global leaders in memory chips.

These two are among the few firms in the world that make high-end memory chips tailored for artificial intelligence processors.

During his South Korea trip, Zuckerberg will meet the CEO of consumer tech giant LG Electronics to discuss the development of a mixed-reality headset to compete with Apple’s Vision Pro, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

In India Zuckerberg was set to attend the March 1-3 pre-wedding celebrations of the son of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of oil-to-telecoms giant Reliance Industries, Bloomberg said.

Meta, Google and others have invested billions of dollars in Reliance’s digital unit Jio Platforms as it seeks to take on Amazon and Walmart in India’s vast e-commerce market.

Bloomberg reports that Zuckerberg will also work on artificial intelligence services and forge ties with business and government leaders in the region. Zuckerberg and others have talked about aspirations for building artificial general intelligence, or AI as smart as the average human being, despite concerns about the future dangers of AGI for mankind. Samsung, for its part, has reportedly set up a new semiconductor R&D unit called the “AGI Computing Lab” in Silicon Valley to develop the next generation of chips.

Ambani, 66, is the world’s 10th-richest person according to the Forbes real-time billionaires list, while Zuckerberg is ranked fourth.

The other 1,000 invitees from politics, business, Bollywood and cricket for the pre-nuptials for Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant, the daughter of an industrialist, reportedly include Bill Gates and Ivanka Trump.

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